News + Events

Electric Literature: 34 Books by Women of Color to Read This Year

The Leavers is on Electric Literature’s list of 2017 books written by women of color.


Starred Review from Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly gave The Leavers a starred review and called it  “a sweeping examination of family…. Ko’s stunning tale of love and loyalty—to family, to country—is a fresh and moving look at the immigrant experience in America, and is as timely as ever.” 


AWP Conference

I’ll be on the following panels at the 2017 AWP Conference in Washington, DC:

The Transnational Novel
Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Friday, February 10, 2017
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

In a time of the largest mass migration of humans since World War II, the transnational novel seems more relevant than ever. Four authors who have written transnational novels discuss the impetus behind writing in the form and its challenges and rewards. They also discuss how to approach perspective and craft when writing as well as the attendant writing life that often accompanies it. With Sybil Baker, Robin Hemley, Xu Xi, and Evan Fallenberg.

To the Finish Line: Completing and Promoting the Novel
Room 204AB, Washington Convention Center, Level Two
Friday, February 10, 2017
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

From the first fifty pages to the last, the first novel, for most writers, takes years. What is the real process and faith it actually takes to complete and sell a novel? What are the tools that writers need years into the process of writing a novel? What can a writer do to make sure a book delivers on its promise? What contacts make a difference when it is time to tour, sell, and promote it? Three first time novelists and two publicists explore the different ways to get to “the end.” With Melissa X. Golebiowski, Carmiel Banasky, J. Ryan Stradal, and Katie Freeman.


Chicago Review of Books

The Leavers is one of 10 new books that can help you survive the first six months of the Trump regime and one of the most exciting fiction books of 2017’s first half, according to the Chicago Review of Books. 


Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly calls The Leavers one of 16 debut novels to read in 2017 and “a smashing debut” in its February 3/10, 2017 issue


Read it Forward: 17 Books We’re Excited to Read in 2017

The Leavers is one of Read it Forward’s 17 Books We’re Excited to Read in 2017: “A perfectly timed novel for this political landscape, The Leavers is an intense and poignant examination of immigration and those marked by it.”


TIME: 25 Female-Driven Books, Movies, and Shows We Can’t Wait to Get Our Hands on in 2017

TIME calls The Leavers  “one of 2017’s most anticipated fiction debuts… as relevant as ever as the future of immigrants in America hangs in the balance.”


Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus calls The Leavers “a timely novel [that] depicts the heart- and spirit-breaking difficulties faced by illegal immigrants with meticulous specificity.”


My essay in The Offing

My essay “20 Lessons on How to Be American,” which I wrote in the days following the presidential election, was published in The Offing. 


Buzzfeed: The 32 Most Exciting Books Coming in 2017

Buzzfeed’s list of the most exciting books coming in 2017 includes The Leavers


The Millions: Most Anticipated Books

The Leavers is on The Millions’ Most Anticipated: The Great 2017 Book Preview list


Winter Institute 2017

I’ll be at the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute in Minneapolis, MN from January 28-30, 2017.




NYLON’s Books We Can’t Wait to Read

The Leavers is one of NYLON’s 50 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2017


Bustle’s Most Anticipated Fiction Books

Bustle listed The Leavers as one of 2017’s Most Anticipated Fiction Books and one of 7 Reasons 2017 Is Going to Be an Incredible Year for Book Lovers.


Library Journal Top Debut Novels

The Leavers was named one of the top debut novels for May 2017, according to Library Journal. 


Indies Introduce Pick

The Leavers has been selected by the American Booksellers Association as an Indies Introduce Pick – one of the top 10 debut titles of Winter/Spring 2017.


An Evening of Readings Featuring New York Foundation for the Arts Literary Fellows and PEN America Members

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of NYFA’s Artists’ Fellowship program, this event features writers whose NYFA Fellowship helped foster their creative work.

Tuesday, August 16, 7:30pm
Greenlight Bookstore
686 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY

Free, but RSVP required.


PEN Ten Interview

Check out my PEN Ten Interview, where I share my obsessions, thoughts on surveillance and censorship, and my long journey to claiming an identity as a writer.


Interview on Drunken Boat Blog

My co-fiction editor at Drunken Boat, Sybil Baker, interviewed me for the journal’s blog, in which I talk about submitting your writing, getting rejected (and my 50-rejections-a-year goal), and how fiction is always political.


Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Open Studios

As a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace resident, I’ll be opening up my studio and reading from the first chapter of my novel at Open Texts. Come by and learn more about the work I’ve been doing in this nine-month residency program.

Open Studios: Friday, April 29, 6-9pm; Saturday April 30, 1-6pm
Open Texts Reading: Saturday, April 30, 6-8pm
28 Liberty Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY

Free, but RSVP required


Best American Short Stories 2016!

red cover of book with white type, "The Best American Short Stories 2016, edited by Junot Diaz"My short story “Pat + Sam,” which was published last fall in Copper Nickel, was chosen for Best American Short Stories 2016, guest-edited by Junot Díaz and available in October 2016.